Sunday, January 20, 2013

Collective Story Writing: Title TBD

Working with kids to create a story as a group has given me an idea.  I'd like to brainstorm and develop a story based on feedback from my friends on the web, Facebook fans, blog followers, etc.

From what I can see on the web currently, it's not a new idea, but I don't see anyone taking one story and seeing it through to a conclusion, especially a full length novel.  This may not pan out, but I'm gong to give it a shot, because you know what they say about creativity... Be Fearless!

So here's the start of the story.  Feel free embellish on characters, setting, and plot lines.  The main goal is to keep the story moving along.  Post your ideas in the comments, and I'll use the comments to add to the story.  Nothing vulgar, please.

Even if it takes a year, when we get to the end of the story, and I'm satisfied with the result, I'll publish and promote it.  Any money made from the book will go to charity.

Happy writing!



It was the start of an ordinary summer day in the suburbs.  Little kids were starting to mill around their houses in their pajamas.  Neighbors were letting their dogs out to do their business.  The sun was casting long shadows of the ten-year-old maple trees planted in neatly manicured front flower beds.  But something felt different.

Tim Johnson rolled out of bed at 9:00 a.m.  He had to grab some breakfast before he went to driver's ed class.
"Morning, mom."
"Timmy, you need to grab something quick, we need to get over to the school for driver's ed," his mom replied as she handed him a breakfast bar and some juice.

Tim wolfed it down and headed back toward his bedroom to get dressed.
"Don't forget to brush your teeth and put on deodorant," his mom yelled down the hall.
"I know, mom, jeez."
Tim's mom rolled her eyes.  Hygiene was not the first priority of a fifteen-year-old boy ... unless a girl was going to be around.

Tim finished getting ready around the constant prodding and nagging of his mom.  The two of them got in the family's mid-sized SUV and backed out of the garage.  Tim was driving with his learner's permit.  He'd been driving for six months now and had gotten pretty good at it by this point.  At least that's what he thought.  His mom was still nervous.

"Timmy, be careful of the mirrors."
"Mom," said Tim, perturbed by her constant nagging.
"I know, honey, it's just ... you're new to driving.  I just want you to be safe," she replied.

Tim cleanly extracted the SUV from the twenty-by-twenty-foot suburban garage and backed out onto the cul-de-sac.

"Watch the neighbor's trash bin," his mom said in a voice that said she was nervous, but trying to be calm.
"Mom, I've got this.  Relax."
"I know, honey.  I know."  She didn't sound very convincing.

Tim put the car in drive and began to head down the long cul-de-sac street to the main road that snaked through the giant subdivision.  Something seemed out of place.

"Mom, look at those trash bins.  Why are they all over people's lawns?"
"Huh, that is strange, honey.  I'm not sure, but don't let it distract you from the road."
"C'mon mom!  I've been driving for six months now.  You need to rel ..."


"Mom, are you OK?  There was nothing in the road a second ago.  I swear!"
Tim's mom was dazed from the sudden impact of the airbag.  Her face was bruised and it looked like her nose was broken.
"Mom!  Mom!"
She opened her eyes and wobbled her head toward Tim.  "I'm alright, but owww!" She gingerly touched her nose.  "I think my nose is broken.  Are you OK, honey?"
"I'm fine, mom, but I'm not sure what I hit.  And whatever it was, it's not there now."

The two of them got out of the car to inspect the damage.  Tim's mother was holding a wad of tissues over her nose to soak up the blood.  As they rounded the quarter panels to the front of the car, it came into view:  a giant indentation in the street.  It was oval-shaped and about the entire width of the SUV.  The indentation in the blacktop was nearly a foot deep.

The two of them just stared at it for a moment as the fear set in.
"Mom, what on earth could do this?!" Tim said, visibly frightened and shaking.
His mom didn't speak right away.  She was as frightened as her son, but she had to collect herself.
"Timmy," she said in a nasal, broken-nose tone, "we need to get back to the house and report this to the police."
Tim nodded in agreement, and the two of them walked quickly back to their two-story, four-bedroom house on the cul-de-sac.  Somehow, the quiet streets of the suburb didn't seem very safe anymore.


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